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Working Group 5

International Cooperation for Protected Areas

1.Chair and Co-chair

2.Outline of the theme

Protected areas have an important role in the conservation of biodiversity, the protection of natural assets, and the prevention of global warming. In order to properly fulfill these functions, the enhancement of protected areas in various countries as well as the surrounding countries or worldwide cooperation is important. In particular, in Asian countries where there is a wide variety of natural conditions, from cold regions to tropical areas, from developing countries to highly developed countries, transboundary actions and international cooperation including international support are essential. In this working group, we will analyze the current status and issues related to international cooperation in a wide range of protected areas in order to enhance and strengthen the management of these protected areas from the aspect of cooperation with neighboring countries and worldwide cooperation such as through international treaties and international aid, and will assess a new framework for international cooperation for the future in Asia region.

3. Expected Sub-themes and presentations

1)Regional cooperation for protected areas

The seamless extent of ecosystems and natures has been maintained and used in different ways through its separation by the formation of boundaries for the benefit of humans. For the establishment of transboundary regimes and the maintenance of protected areas for ecosystem integrity, cooperation with neighboring countries is essential. However, there are various difficulties including political obstacles for the promotion of regional cooperation. In this sub-theme, we will promote regional cooperation for the management of protected areas in Asia by introducing advanced cases and deepen the common understanding of these issues in order to promote the establishment or strengthening of the management of protected areas through regional cooperation, especially cooperation with neighboring countries.

Expected presentations

2) International framework for protected areas

For the conservation of biodiversity and landscapes, there are many international treaties such as the Ramsar Convention and World Heritage Convention, international systems such as the UNESCO MAB program, and international organizations and groups implementing conservation activities. However, there are also quite a few countries in Asia that have not joined in these treaties or have joined but the number of registered areas is insufficient. In this sub-theme, the current status and future development of international frameworks such as treaties related to protected areas in Asia will be discussed for the purpose of contributing to the strengthening of these international frameworks.

Expected presentation

3) International development and training

Substantial funds, technology, and human resources, including biological research capacity, are required for the establishment and maintenance of protected areas. On the other hand, there are many developing countries in Asia that do not have sufficient funds for the maintenance of protected areas, and there are many protected areas without sufficient maintenance that are so-called paper parks. Therefore, international aid agencies in developed countries as well as international Agencies such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank have conducted aid activities in support of protected areas. In this sub-theme, case studies for the further development of international aid and the training for human resources will be presented.

Expected presentation

4) New schemes for international cooperation for protected areas in Asia

For the further promotion of international cooperation for protected areas and the promotion of the expansion and strengthening of the management of protected areas, cases under the sub-themes above as well as new frameworks are required. In this sub-theme, proposals related to frameworks for future international cooperation in the protected areas of Asia, or issues concerning the promotion of these frameworks will be discussed.

Expected presentation

5) Other Issues